Many buyers tell me they will “know” the right house when they see it. I’ve experienced that immediate falling-in-love feeling myself, so I understand it. It’s not really so much “seeing” the perfect home as it is experiencing it. Often it is a feeling, a homey, welcoming, peaceful feeling that we experience inside the “right” home. Many of us have a general idea of location, size and price, but often our instinctive senses directly impact our decision. Never mind, we need four bedrooms but the home we innately know is the right one, has only three. Never mind that the home is located in an all-electric area and you love gas cooking. Okay, so we can let the younger kids bunk together and we can adapt to electric cooking, but there are more than a few things a buyer should not ignore when selecting a home. This is my top five list of items that should never be overlooked when deciding on a new home:
1) Location and access to major roadways. There is no real guarantee that choosing a home based on location means that in a year it will still be the right location. Today, we change jobs more often and we travel further for entertainment and shopping than the previous generation. That’s not to say that things can’t change. Fuel prices, vehicle costs and travel time keep rising and at some point, all of us are impacted. My recommendation is to choose the best area for your family for now. We don’t have crystal balls to peer into to see what tomorrow may bring.
2) Schools. Choose a home in a school district you are familiar with or have had recommended to you. This is important if you have children, but it is an important consideration for resale too.
3) General overall condition of the structure. This is important for many reasons, not the least of which is that in my part of the country, shifting soil is an issue and most homes are built on slabs. A home inspection provides a licensed-professional’s assessment of the home’s general condition and usually includes the roof, attic, heating and cooling as well as the interior (to include most appliances).
4) Price. You may be pre-approved to purchase more home than you really need or want. Make sure your lender and your Realtor are aware what payment amount you are comfortable making each month.
5) Cost of Renovation. Although you love the home just as it is, there may be several projects you’d like to do to make it even more perfect for your family. Is it a bathroom or kitchen renovation? Do you want to add a fireplace or move a wall? Get an idea of how much those projects will cost and decide whether you can make those changes.